QSO Explore Beethoven workshop

On Sunday 26 August, our Academy was given the opportunity to watch the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s long-awaited performance at the Gold Coast Arts Centre. The repertoire consisted of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture Op. 62, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21. 

Fifteen students attended, all thoroughly enjoying the performance. The orchestra was conducted by the well-renowned American conductor having arrived from New York, Kenneth Kiesler. The concert premiered with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture Op. 62. A work that was based upon the theme of Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, a Roman general that displayed exceptional valour in the Roman siege of the Volscian city of Corioli. Hearing this work performed live took the listener on quite a journey, with such an exceptionally potent and rich theme elaborately woven over the course of nine minutes, concluding with a solemn harmony that progressively fades into a remnant pizzicato, crafted by only the mind of genius.

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 was performed by the Canadian classical pianist Jan Lisiecki, who has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility, all at the ripe old age of twenty-two. He offered us a beautiful rendition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. Every note was executed with a piercingly accurate precision, and all dynamic interpretations were communicated with considerable maturity and emotional involvement. One could tell that a trill was being played without even hearing the notes, as his puffy golden hair would waver like a delicate mushroom amidst the tumultuous winds of a hurricane. This only added to his immaculate rendition of Mozart’s more-than-brilliant work that will forever remain a masterpiece as long as there may be ears to hear it.

The American conductor Kenneth Kiesler expressed his feelings concerning the sense of warmth, community, and uniqueness that he had come to notice upon his short time staying in the Gold Coast, and in this vein, generated rapport with the audience as a prelude to the tour de force of the Orchestra.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 concluded the concert, in which the conductor truly cast light upon all elements of the work, fully capturing the listener’s attention from the first comedic motif, to the typically ‘Beethovenish’ finale, ignited with the passionate spark that would soon grow into the triumphant and revolutionary flame of the Romantic Era.

Students from our Academy were nominated as exceptional instrumentalists, and given the opportunity to perform sections from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, conducted by Mark Sullivan from Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO). Having the opportunity to watch the performance live gave the students a broader perspective as to what is realistically expected from a work of this length with its high level of complexity.

I look forward to seeing future live musical renditions that are executed to a similar standard as given by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO).

Tobias Robertson
Year 10 Student